Tamiya King Tiger Porsche Turrent RC Conversion

By | Apr 8, 2017

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Tamiya makes a full-option RC version of the famous King Tiger tank, but before they offered it, the only way to get a King Tiger full option kit was to make one yourself. Even today, if you want one with the Porsche turret (as opposed to the Henschel), you still need to make one yourself.

Fortunately, with some spare parts from Tamiya, a little ingenuity, and a static 1/16 scale Porsche-turret King Tiger tank from Tamiya, you can have your very own Porsche turret King Tiger full option RC tank.

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Here we have the various items needed to do our conversion: Static 1/16 King Tiger tank, Porsche Turret, Multi-Function units for drive mechanism and special effects, and two geared drive units (left and right). I have a full parts list below.

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The chassis goes together first. The static version of the King Tiger has a fully working suspension, just like the RC versions, so no modifications are necessary here.

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Even though this is a static kit, it uses the chassis from the RC version, so getting the drive components in is a snap. This is a shot of the chassis with the drive units installed. All of the mounting holes are already in the chassis (no drilling required!).

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This is the assembled rolling chassis, already painted white (I am doing a winter camouflage theme). I used the stock tracks that came with the kit, but they are flimsy and prone to breaking under RC running. It’s best to upgrade to the heavier plastic tracks of the RC version of the King Tiger, or, get a set of after market metal tracks.

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Hull has been painted and weathered.  Turret was just set on top for a look.  The white stuff on the side of the turret is an epoxy putty used to simulate zimmerit (an anti magnetic mine paste applied to the tank in a ridged pattern).  Zimmerit effect is applied to basically all vertical surfaces of the tank. I used the tip of a screwdriver blade to make the ridges.   The epoxy putty I used is called Zimm-it-rite and is made by a company called R&J Enterprises.  It comes in two 45 gram containers.  One order was enough to do the entire tank.  Its really great to work with because it has a 2-3 hour working time and is water soluble during that time.  I put it on, smooth it out to a very thin layer  and let it set up for about 30 min before I start poking it with the screwdriver.  At this point, the tank is driveable with the motors and radio installed.

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Now we get into the multifunction stuff.  First on the list is the barrel recoil mechanism and mount. The left picture is the mantlet and the barrel.  Since this is a static model, the mantlet had to be opened up a bit to allow the barrel to slide back and forth (for recoil effect). The picture on the right is the recoil drive mechanism with the mount for it fabricated out of styrene sheet.  The small shelf below the hole in the mount is what I’ll mount the recoil unit to. The barrel will slide through the hole above it.  Note:  The gun flash strobe wires need to be lengthened due to the length of the King Tiger’s barrel.

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The opening in the bottom of the King Tiger’s turret is smaller than that of the Tiger 1, so the turret ring is cut and reinforcing material removed so that it can be fit in the King Tiger’s turret opening.   Since the ring is glued against the wall of the opening, the reinforcing material isn’t needed. And, it is is easier to conform to the opening without the reinforcing. The ring is mounted so that the toothed portion extends below the opening as pictured above. This is necessary to mate with the output gear of the turret rotation drive.  The ring is mounted so that the cut is at the FRONT of the turret opening. This is because the turret rotation drive unit will be mounted to the back of the turret opening in the hull. With the ring cut being at the front of the turret, opposite the drive mechanism, the turret will be able to rotate nearly 360 degrees.

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The turret rotation drive is very easy to install. With the turret installed, line up the drive unit with the turret from under side the hull of the tank. I used styrene shims to position it in the proper location. This picture shows it mounted to the exact rear of the turret opening in the hull.

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Gun elevation is accomplished here. Temporarily mount the barrel assembly, recoil unit and all, to ensure the gun elevation drive has sufficient clearance.  I cut and used the stock Tiger 1 elevation drive mount.  It was cut because normally it spans the entire turret opening, but with the smaller opening of the King Tiger, it would obstruct the recoil mechanism. I fabricated an elevation “lever” out of styrene which is mounted at a right angle to the back of my recoil mount.  Using ball links, the lever as connected to the output shaft of the elevation drive.

Once this is done, finished assembly proceeds normally, with detail parts added and final paint and weathering.

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The finished product!


Here’s a short clip of my converted King Tiger in the snow!

Parts needed for the conversion:

DESCRIPTION

PART
NUMBER

TIGER
PART

KING
TIGER PART

Tamiya
motor/gear box (Left)
4205017

Yes

Tamiya
motor/gear box (Right)
4205018

Yes

MF-01
Full  Hop-Up Package
53446
T-03
DMD Unit
7255012

Yes

Machine
Gun Bag
9415666

Yes

J
Parts Bag.  Parts used: Turret Ring, (3) Rollers, J2, J3
& J4
9115110

Yes

Mechanism
Deck
4305434

Yes

Stay
Parts Bag:  Parts used: Spring, Turret Stay, Recoil Stay, Gun
Elev. Stay, Antenna
9415670

Yes

Screw
Bag “D”.  Parts used: Screws, Washers, Ball Connector
9465564

Yes

Double
Sided Tape Bag.  Parts used: (2) White Adjusters from this
bag.  These may be available at hobby shop.
9415678

Yes

Screw
Bag “E”.  Parts used: threaded rod for White Adjusters.
These may be available at hobby shop
9465565

Yes

Screw
Bag “B”.  Parts used: only E-ring part MB6.  This
may be available at hobby shop or hardware store
9465562

Yes

Screw
Bag  from King Tiger
9465553

Yes

NOTE
1:  The MF-01 Full Hop-Up Package (#53446), T-03 DMD (#7255012),
and Motor/Gear Boxes can be obtained from  Tamiya America.

NOTE
2:  The MF-01 Full Hop-Up Package (#53446) includes some hardware
needed, but not all.  The remainder can be purchased at your local
hobby shop or hardware store or you can order Screw Bag A (#9415561) and
Bag C (#9465563).  Keep in mind that you will only use some of the
parts in Bags A and C.

The
hardware you will need includes:

DESCRIPTION

QTY

USED
ON

SCREW
BAG

3x6mm
metal screws
4 Mechanism
Deck
Bag A
3x8mm
self tapping screws
3 Mount
Turret Rotation Unit
Bag A
3x6mm
metal screws
2 Mount
Turret Stay to Turret Ring
Bag A
2x4mm
metal screws
2 Gun
Elevation Unit to Turret Stay
Bag C
3x8mm
self tapping screws
4 Mount
Recoil Stay to inside of Mantlet
Bag A
2x4mm
metal screws
3 Attach
Barrel Recoil Unit to Mantlet
Bag C
2x6mm
metal screws with counter sink heads
2 Attach
Turret Ring to Turret
Bag A
3x8mm
self tapping screws
2 Gun
Elevation Stay to Mantlet
Bag A
 

Originally posted 2014-06-18 19:51:34.

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10 Comments so far
  1. German Tanker September 8, 2012 11:45 am

    Looking at your Porche turret KT is awesome. Consider selling that? Would love to add that to my collection of KT’s. Let me know, thanks.

  2. Cliff Starkey November 13, 2013 9:51 am

    I have Tamiya Kit #56007 Porsche Turret (Lower hull drive only) and would like to convert it to full option. Is this possible? If so, Can you provide me with a list of the necessary parts?

    Thank you,

    Cliff Starkey

  3. rcgrabbag November 13, 2013 1:27 pm

    I did this conversion over 10 yrs ago. The parts list is provided in this article, but the list is old. I’m afraid you’ll have to do your own research at this point. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Good luck!

  4. Cliff Starkey November 13, 2013 1:40 pm

    Thank you very much for your prompt reply.

    I understand that you did your conversion quite sometime ago and i appreciate you getting back to me at all on this.

    The good news is, i believe most, if not all of the F/O parts to upgrade my old Tam # 56007 KT are still available.

    Also, i am very impressed with your work and really appreciate you sharing the conversion in such detail. Your F/O KT Porsche is a work of art. Excellent job! I am going to give it a go and i do not think I could do it without your tutorial.

    Thanks again,

    Cliff

  5. rcgrabbag November 13, 2013 5:04 pm

    If the parts are still available, you should have no problem adding the multi-function items.

  6. Cliff Starkey November 13, 2013 5:58 pm

    That good news.

    Thanks again,

    Cliff

    PS- I will keep you post on my conversion if you like. Probably will not get started until after Christmas but I will send you a note from time to time if you like.

    Also, would you mind if I contact you if i run into any problems?

  7. rcgrabbag November 14, 2013 11:16 pm

    Yep keep me posted!

  8. Cliff Starkey November 15, 2013 10:03 am

    Thank you my friend

  9. mike whitham May 9, 2015 10:42 am

    Hi there

    Awesome work on your converstion matey,its realy inspired me to start my static to full option converstion which is the old clutch type full option king tiger.

  10. rcgrabbag May 13, 2015 4:09 pm

    Hey Mike, thanks a lot. Good luck on your conversion. Most of it is simple. The hardest part was the gun elevation and recoil.

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